Recent wave of innovation called web 2.0 has been described by many others and better then me but in own words I would say it was time where the web has finally picked up in terms of viable computing platform for doing real things, mostly for individuals and not businesses. This change was possible thanks to many factors such as affordable, stable and fast internet connections and enough people with experience gained from the first round (the 90's bubble) coming from all different schools – developers, designers, entreprenerus, and marketing wizards.
Although today things seem gloomy, achievements and milestones that have been reached can not be ignored, phenomenas such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google services and others are a given fact and part of many people every day routines.
From a 20 years perspective we can see a slight pattern of two recent waves of innovation starting at the 90's – five years downturn – 2005/2008 – now. Following every downturn a new leap in innovation happened and I and I guess many others contemplate on where it would strike the next time.
To further rationalize my predictions I would like also to set ground for how I see technology in terms of status and recent development and that basis would serve for my suggested leap. So here is a quick and cold technical analysis on the infrastructure available today for innovation:
Computing devices: Today, affordable computing devices are "strong" enough to provide the user with a smooth user experience while using locally installed applications using reasonable amounts of data residing locally. The growth in computing power did not happen in a distuptive manner during the last decade although it was always "almost" enough to serve the linearly growing user needs. The new thing that happened is the growing richness of services available on the net that are possible mostly thanks to an optimized HTTP/HTMl/JS client server protocols that usuallt rely on a small scale "super computer" operated by service providers.
Network: Bandwidth, excluding Israel unfortunately(:, has become affordable and fast enough to stream content at rate that is fast for the human eye to falsely think it is stored locally. This barrier is very meaningfull since it breaks down the inherent delay in network based content/services. Of course I am drawing here an optimal picture but this case exist in many places on the net.
Browsers, as the main delivery platform for web applications have evolved heavilly during the web 2.0 times aiming to serve as the gateway for the network based desktop. And although many applications are running "great" via the browser, there is always the notion of nothing feels like a locally installed application and why is it so really? An application usually consists of logic, data and some interface to present stuff to the user and let the user a way to interact with it. Moving the data to a central place such as a network based service provider sounds very reasonable and appears also to be effective while designed properly. Moving the logic to the server side is also very reasonable since the server computing resources are bigger then what the average user has on its desktop. Moving the interaction to the server side is still the bottle neck. UI responsiveness is measured in milliseconds by users and not always conciously. The "responsiveness" and "richness" of an application can be sensed by users and measured not necessarily by numbers but with some degree of feelings. The balance browsers need to strike between being cross platform and supportive of different responsiveness of a locally installed application can not be easilly replaced
Actually browsers have taken the place of the desktop in terms of doing everything we used to do locally on the desktop and move it to the network. The main problem was that whatIf we look at the desktop as the previous main platform for running productivity applications and the net to be only used for data efficient applications platform
The ability to build a high performance server side Actually non of each single architectural component (cpu, memory, network, storage) has gove through some revolution but the mutuall rather linear growth has supplied the platform for web 2.0.
For summary we can say that today we have stable operating systems and underlying personal computing devices, optimized communications with network based services, "infinite power" network services (cloud contributes to this as well).
The user as someone who enjoys using its computing device for several purposes wants the best performance while keeping the best user experience available. And here is to my projection: Next wave would be user experience 2.0 where the focus would be on providing the best user experience to the user and not only via today's constraints such as the browser/offline-online/html etc…
From a user prespective he would like to get the feeling as if his computer is limitless in powerActually users
Doing some analysis on computing in general,then it was always about computing power,
From a technical point of view, web infrastructure including development environments, browsers and operating systems, network facilities
Web 3.0 implies means it is going to be a leap in web based services
Desktop provide local cpu and memory, fast
Web provides content, app code, media